There is a joke that goes like this: A man comes home and finds his wife washing three children, all covered in mud. He exclaims: “But, honey, I thought we only have two kids!” The wife answers: “We do, but I got to see which ones are ours.”
It makes for a funny story, until your child comes home, covered in mud, the dog close behind and you can tell good bye to your white carpets and the little one’s cloths.
The good news is that they can all be saved. Read on!
Cleaning Your Carpets
1. Let the mud dry!
I can’t stress enough on this. Let the dirt dry on your carpet. I know you are now twitching all over just thinking about it, but trust me, it’s for the best. You will probably be too busy washing your child properly to clean the mud our of your carpet. Cleaning the mess with water will only set the mud even deeper into the fabric and once that’s done, there is no getting it out. Gather as much as you can from the carpet without using any water. Let the mud dry and it will start crumbling.
2. Use a vacuum cleaner
Once you are sure the spot is completely dry you can clean it. You will notice how the mud has become soil. That’s great! Now we can easily vacuum it away without staining the carpet. In most cases that is enough. Sometimes, however, there is a spot left.
3. Use a cleaning solution
You have several options here:
- You can always apply a liquid detergent on the spot and rub it in. Let it rest for about 15 minutes and then wash away.
- Stain removers are a great way to get dirt out of your carpet. You can use a gel, stick or spray on the area. Let it soak for 5 minutes and clean it.
- Those of you who prefer cleaning green can rely on the tried and tested vinegar. It always helps. Mix equal amounts of water and vinegar and rub the stain. Let it soak for as long as necessary and re-apply if needed. Wipe dry with a paper towel.
Repeat this step if needed. Keep in mind, that depending on the region you live in and the soil you have, sometimes you might need professional cleaners to do the job.
Washing your child’s shoes is the easy part. You might want to hold on to the jacket from aunty and the t-shirt your best friend bought as a present. Breath in and don’t panic. They are are all salvageable. Just don’t be quick to throw everything in the washing machine.
1. With cloths it’s even more important to let the mud dry. Otherwise you might spread it and make it harder to wash. Just leave the cloths on a plastic chair and wash your child under a warm spray of water.
2. Carefully scrape the excess mud without rubbing it into the fabric.
3. Using a brush or a toothbrush, wipe away as much as you can.
4. Just like the carpet, you can choose between a spot removal, a detergent and vinegar to wash away the spot. Use as little water as possible. Remember to rub your cleaning solution of choice on both sides of the cloth by using a brush.
5. Now you can put the cloths into the washing machine.
6. Once the cycle is complete carefully check for stains. Never use a dryer, because it will set the stain in and you will never be able to wash it out.
7. Repeat the steps above if needed.
With the right methods and detergents no stain will remain. Don’t worry and let your children get dirty. It’s good for them.
Author: Anita Ford